All public discussion on Eretz Israel is a good thing. We are sure of our cause. We don’t like this reprisal system; we wish it would end. Retaliation is bad; if they would treat us as combatants it would end. Is not this movement one of the most humanitarian in all history? It is not … Continued
Subjects: British Mandate
An interview Menachem Begin gave to the Herald Tribune in March 1947 and reprinted later for relevance to the formation of a provisional government in Israel. The IZL is prepared for a long and difficult struggle with the British. Though the IZL wants to end the policy of reprisals, it will continue the policy until its members are treated as combatants, even if it means hanging British soldiers if its own members are hanged. The IZL has had contact with Arabs in Palestine, though it has been limited. The IZL has plans to carry out attacks outside of Palestine. They do not favor but will not oppose the discussion of Palestine at the UN. The Soviet Union is against the idea of Jewish immigration to Israel from other countries but has a point in that some Jews seem to favor elements of British imperialism. The IZL is not Fascist because it is fighting for survival, is against totalitarianism, and is in favor of democracy and individual freedoms.
A speech Begin addressed to the Egyptian people near the beginning of the peace process with Egypt. The two nations have been engaged in conflict since Egypt invaded Israel upon its declaration of independence. Egyptian attempts to destroy Israel were all in vain and unnecessary. Israel has and will continue to defend itself if attacked, but it does not want to fight at all. Egypt and Israel were allies in ancient times, and they can be again. President Sadat has offered to come to soeak in the Knesset so that no more Egyptian soldiers will be hurt, and Israel welcomes him with open arms. The Koran says that Israel belongs to the Jews. Both sides can find common ground in religion and other areas to live in peace.
A reprinting of a chapter from Begin’s book, THE REVOLT, which appeared as part of a series of reprints of Begin’s book in the New York Post. Begin describes how the King David Hotel was the fortified center of British power in Mandatory Palestine and how striking it would prove to them that it was indeed possible to fight against the powerful British Empire. The Haganah approved the attack on the hotel. The Etzel did not want to cause any cause any casualties in the attack, especially civilian casualties. To that end they set off a warning fire cracker and called several locations, including the hotel, giving warnings about the bombs and instructions to evacuate. Though plenty of time to evacuate was given, the British forces refused to evacuate and many people, including civilians, were killed. Begin and the Irgun were distraught at the needless death and struggled to understand why the British refused to save their own lives or the lives of the civilians by evacuating.
A reprinting of a chapter from Begin’s book, THE REVOLT, which appeared as part of a series of reprints of Begin’s book in the New York Post. Begin describes the two most pressing issues facing the Jews during WW2: the Nazi Holocaust and the British closure of Palestine Jews fleeing the Holocaust. This closure made the revolt inevitable. The Etzel had no desire for any conflict with the Arabs of Palestine and warned them to not interfere with the fight against the British. Some Arabs even helped the Irgun in the revolt. It was only after the UN decided to partition Palestine that the Arabs rose up against the Jews. The British thought they were ‘omnipotent’ and therefore a revolt which they could not suppress would be a terrible blow to their prestige, and indeed the Etzel’s revolt was such a blow. The Etzel did not want to use violence, but the British regime left it no choice. It was the Etzel’s commitment to morality that led it to triumph over the superior British forces.